Braves acquire Dennis Santana in a trade with Rangers

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With the deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 Draft occurring today, we knew the Braves would make some moves. Less than two hours ago, they added Braden Shewmake, Darius Vines, and Roddery Muñoz to the 40-man roster. In corresponding moves, William Woods, Guillermo Heredia, and Silvino Bracho were all designated for assignment. That’s just about what I expected to happen, but the Braves’ latest trade is one that made me take a step back.

Atlanta has acquired Dennis Santana from the Rangers for cash. To make room for him on the roster, they have designated Jackson Stephens for assignment.

On the surface, Santana didn’t have a great year for the Rangers in 2022, posting an unsightly 5.22 ERA over 63 appearances. However, his 3.35 FIP suggests some severe positive regression is in line. Santana’s Baseball Savant page is also promising.

  • 87th percentile in Avg Exit Velocity
  • 85th percentile in HardHit%
  • 89th percentile in Barrell%
  • 79th percentile in xSLG

Evidently, the Braves pitching coaches have something to work with, but I was really shocked by the decision to move on from Jackson Stephens. He was pretty good for the Braves, recording a 3.69 ERA and 3.54 FIP last season. He was also on a dirt cheap contract with plenty of team control, but apparently, Alex Anthopoulos sees more upside with Santana. Given his immaculate track record of under the radar bullpen additions, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Photo: Aric Becker/Icon Sportswire

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